Dear Miami: It’s Time To Start Showing Up

January 16, 2018Pola Bunster

Supporting the cool kind of content that comes to our city shouldn’t only happen once or twice a year. If we truly and wholeheartedly want Miami to become the metropolitan city we’ve been boasting about for years, we need to actually have something to show for it. How does a city go from a cultural renaissance into the next phase of top-tier creativity? It’s a very simple answer and it starts with you.

We’re calling out all the talkers and non-doers. All of the disengaged and disconnected. Consider this your Bat Signal. It’s time to start actually showing up.

It’s More than just Art Basel.


Art Basel aside, we need to stop and ask ourselves why our city seemingly falls off the map when it comes to attending art-driven shows. We travel to cities like Brooklyn or Los Angeles in search of high-level, social media-worthy culture yet when Miami reels in exhibits and performances of the same caliber, the streets fall silent. Why is that? It clearly can’t be due to a lack of interest.

Photo by Frieze.


Could it be our dependency on cars or the sheer size of our city? Our youth or relative inexperience in engaging the local community for thoughtful, long-term connections? Whatever it is, we need to turn up the spotlight on the Phenomenon of Flakiness and put an end to it. Because every time we choose not to go out or cancel plans last-minute, we’re de-valuing a large group of people’s hard work and that kind of thoughtlessness just isn’t cool anymore. Throwing away plans that involve months of preparation on their part is a luxury of the past.

High culture does exist.


There are many collectives, organizations, and institutions dedicating their lives to making Miami’s culture stellar 365 days a year. Take a look at MDC’s Museum of Art + Design, for example, who is bringing world renown films and performers to Miami stages through their latest on-going exhibit: Living Together. The exhibition features interactive shows and performing artists focusing on social activism whose pieces have sold out everywhere from NYC to Amsterdam.

If we were anywhere else, these performances would sell out here too, flooding our feeds with anticipation. But we’re not, and they aren’t. When we choose to forego supporting these institutions and their creative risks, we’re only helping to drive the nail into their disillusionment. We’re telling them high-caliber art just isn’t possible in Miami and they should stop while they’re ahead. We’re spinning the wheel in a vicious cycle of fearful risk-taking and lack of public excitement.

So how do we do it?


Let’s break the pattern. It’s up to us to show them that we see their hard work and appreciate the effort in making our city better. After all, it’s only a couple hours of your time. Whether you know the artist or not, showing up will give you the opportunity to better understand what’s going on in the city and in the art scene altogether.

Ask questions and do the research on artists or shows you might not know much about. Who knows, you might discover something new about yourself along the way. This is the first step toward expanding the creative conversation in our city, and growing in a mature way together. Institutions like MOAD are actively looking for feedback, hoping to learn more about what our community is into and what they might want to be more frequent around town.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Berger


A great place to start is by looking at their events calendar and seeing what they have coming soon in their Living Together series. This Saturday, January 20th, the LA-based performance troupe, My Barbarian comes to town with their Amsterdam-commissioned piece: Bride of the White Widow. It’s an interactive show within a show exploring contemporary issues of cultural appropriation, globalism, and environmental collapse through song, dance, and games with the audience. Grab your tickets here and kick off your year with full intention to start supporting the true culture in our city!

Read more on Living Together here.